Tyler Trepp always loves coming back to Iowa to sing with his popular a cappella group Straight No Chaser.

The slick and suave nine-man ensemble is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a 62-date fall tour, including this Saturday, Oct. 22 at Davenport’s Adler Theatre.

Tyler Trepp has been in Straight No Chaser since 2009.

Trepp is a 37-year-old native of the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, and said recently he expects his parents to be at the Adler show. “It’s gonna be nice to be back,” he said.

A tenor, Trepp was a part of the Indiana University Straight No Chaser for all four years of college, serving as the group’s musical director for three of those years. He graduated in 2007, which now makes him the second-youngest member. After college, he sang on two cruise ships with the a cappella group “Oceans Four.” He joined Straight No Chaser (SNC) in 2009 and was a part of SNC’s first PBS special “Live in New York.”

Formed during the 1996-1997 school year at IU, a cappella group Straight No Chaser – which began, according to group member Steve Morgan as a “way to meet girls” – eventually emerged at the forefront of the modern-day a cappella movement, and has sold more than three million albums worldwide, garnered more than a billion streams, and sold more than 1.5 million concert tickets worldwide.

“When we started Straight No Chaser as college kids at Indiana University, we never imagined that 25 years later, we’d have two albums certified gold and tour dates around the world,” said group member Walter Chase.

Trepp is second from right in this photo of the nine-man group.

“What a ride it has been.  It has literally been a dream come true.”

This fall, the group will kick off their “The 25th Anniversary Celebration” tour on Thursday, Oct. 20th in Deadwood, S.D., and will perform through New Year’s Eve, where the tour wraps up in Portland, Ore.

Trepp has been in the group since 2009 and now has a 4-year-old daughter (“going on 16”), living in Tulsa, Okla., where he’s been for almost 10 years. He and his wife Lauren (who’s from Tulsa) got married in 2016, and they met on a cruise.

“A handful of guys have stepped away and we’ve found awesome replacements to step in and fill the role,” he said of SNC.

A cappella groups (singing without accompaniment) remain very popular at colleges nationwide, he said.

‘More challenging’

“It’s probably a little more challenging on your voice, just because you’re singing the whole time,” Trepp said. “It’s definitely a lot different.”

The newest SNC member, Freedom Young, does vocal percussion, which Trepp used to do a lot of. When there’s an opening, SNC reaches out to guys they know and have closed auditions.

The group did some livestreamed shows during COVID shutdowns, and started touring live in summer 2021, and back to a semi-normal tour last year’s holiday season.

The boys in concert.

“We had some smaller crowds in some cities,” Trepp said. “We didn’t do our signing line at the end of the shows, which we’re known for. We come out and sign and talk to people. That was something we had to pause for a while, up until this tour coming up.”

“We’re definitely looking forward to that,” he said. “We haven’t done that since before the pandemic. The signing line will be back.”

“We’re so excited to have that back; we missed connecting with our fans,” Trepp said. “It was a cool experience that we’re very excited to have back.”

Back to normal touring

SNC toured earlier this year, including in Canada. The audiences have been larger, similar to pre-COVID levels.

“People are ready to come out again and hear live music, and be in a room again with people,” Trepp said.

Straight No Chaser at a March 2022 in New Wilmington, Penn.

The first show back for SNC was very special, in July 2021, outdoors in northern Wisconsin.

“To see people come in and doing the show for people, it was definitely an emotional experience for me,” Trepp said. “As a performer and a musician, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, right? It was such an awesome feeling to feel that emotion again, of people in the audience cheering, clapping along and singing along and dancing.

“It’s a feeling that’s the best for a performer,” he said. “To get that back for that first show in 2021, it was awesome, just amazing.”

SNC did a PBS special, and there’s a live album that went with that, for its 25th anniversary.

“That’s what we’re trying to do on this tour – do songs we haven’t done in a while, songs from this PBS special, and some new songs we’re really excited about,” T said, noting he couldn’t give away what the new songs are.

PBS stations nationwide have aired “Straight No Chaser: The 25th Anniversary Celebration,” starting this past June. The concert was filmed at the Murat Theatre at Old National Center in Indianapolis in 2019, where the group has sold out 27 shows.

It features the nine group members performing classics like “Proud Mary,” “Lean on Me” and “Twistin,’” as well as pop mash-ups, like “Uptown Funk/Thriller.”

The new concert also will include holiday favorites. “It’s still early. Don’t mad at us if we have a lot of mistakes,” Trepp said of the Davenport gig.

Trepp is second from right in front here.

For this tour, he will sing lead on a new arrangement for SNC. “We get excited for those new ones,” Trepp said, noting they do about 90 percent of their own arrangements.

New book “Sound Bites”

Earlier this year, Straight No Chaser, known for their soundtrack to the holidays, released a book of cocktail and food recipes, sharing their family traditions with their fans.

The cover of the new book on favorite recipes and drinks,.

Straight No Chaser Sound Bites: A Cappella, Cocktails, and Cuisine” is filled with personal family memories shared with the broader Chaser family and published by Red Lightning Books (a sister company of IU Press), available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Red Lightning, and on SNC’s site. 

It was ready in 2020, but the release date was pushed back, Trepp said recently.

“What I think is really cool is, it’s a history of each guy and each guy has their own chapter,” he said. They tell their journey in music, before and during SNC.

“It’s cool to learn about each guy and how they got to where they are now,” Trepp said. Each one picked a few of their favorite recipes.

His include his mom’s chicken wing dip and a pork tenderloin sandwich.

“My favorite one is in the Des Moines airport,” he said of the pork tenderloin, in the main restaurant there. “I think it’s called The Iowan. Pork tenderloin and Iowa kind of go hand in hand.”

The group does not have a signature drink, T. said. They had their own vodka label a few years back, but didn’t work out.

“We’ll continue to try, because it’s something that we’re passionate about and it goes really well with our name and people enjoy that,” he said. “We’ll definitely keep trying.”

A 25th-anniversary gift

The longest SNC members are founding members Randy, Steve, Walt and Jerome.

“To think that the group’s been going this long and something that started in college, because some sorority girls are gonna watch you – to doing headlining shows in these really historic and awesome venues is just a great feeling,” T said.

“We’re happy to keep doing this, because it’s such a blessing,” he said.

They love going back to sing at the IU Auditorium in Bloomington, which they’ll do toward the end of the tour on Dec. 16 (They will perform at the Chicago Theatre on Dec. 23).

“I have a little nostalgia walking around campus a little bit; it’s always a good time,” T said of IU.

They do some other college-town shows, including Iowa City in 2021.

SNC is releasing a physical version of last year’s deluxe edition of “Social Christmasing,” which featured an original, “Christmas Show,” written by group member Mike Luginbill and “Celebrate Me Home,” featuring Kenny Loggins, in addition to the album’s original tracklist which included their signature twist on Christmas classics like “Silver Bells” and “Frosty The Snowman,” five new original songs, and a hopeful take on the Counting Crows classic “A Long December.”

Tickets to Saturday’s Adler concert are $25 to $69.50, available HERE, at Ticketmaster or the Adler Theatre Box Office (136 E. 3rd St., Davenport). For more information on the group, click HERE.